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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:11 PM   #1
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Wedding Video: buy another DVX100B or go HD?

I do wedding videography and own a DVX100B and borrow an XL2 from my day job as the second camera. The XL2 has been having some issues, so it is time for me to buy a second camera.

Since I'm only using this for weddings, I don't believe I'll have enough people in the next year or so demanding HD, so $2400 for a DVX seems reasonable, given it's a great camera. Does anyone feel differently?

If I do go HD, is there anything comparable in the price range (sub $3000 or so) that will work as well in low light? Also, do HD cameras shoot in SD and 4:3, or does it get converted after the fact?
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Old February 20th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #2
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Are you shooting weddings interlaced or progressive with the DVX?
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Old February 20th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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Interlaced.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Procyk View Post
Since I'm only using this for weddings, I don't believe I'll have enough people in the next year or so demanding HD, so $2400 for a DVX seems reasonable, given it's a great camera.
That could be true, but you might also ask whether you'd end up replacing that $2400 camera with an HD camera in another year or two. If so spending $3-4K now to get ahead of the game makes more sense than spending $2400 now and another $3-4K later.

As far as low-light HD cameras in your price range are concerned, your best bets are the Sony FX1 or V1U or the Canon XH-A1. These cameras all give you the choice of shooting widescreen HD, widescreen SD or 4:3 SD, so you could mix with existing cameras until you're ready to go all out with HD.

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; February 20th, 2008 at 02:23 PM. Reason: correct typing error
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Old February 20th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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Shooting interlaced SD, you have several options. An FX1 or XH-A1 would probably suit your purposes well for now, while giving you HD capability for the future.

You might also consider purchasing a used camera for now, and picking up an HD camera later, when you are ready to start shooting HD. One of the best SD bargains in used cameras, is the JVC GY-DV300U. It's an excellent camera (comparable picture quality to your DVX) and they can often be found, in very good condition with low hours, for under $1000.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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I'll look into all of the suggestions. Both the FX1 & XH-A1 will do well in low light? That's the main concern, other than overall image quality.

I'm also now considering going the route Kevin suggested. Since I like my Panasonic, I'm considering the HVX200. What is there in the 3-4K range?
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Old February 20th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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I have never used a DVX100B, but I believe the FX1 and XH-A1 perform roughly comparably to the DVX in low light situations. I suggest you search this site for threads on the FX1 and XH-A1 in low light (there have been a number of discussions here).

An HVX200 is going to run you well over $4000. Take a look at B&H's site to get an idea of what HDV cameras are available in your price range.

You should probably also consider a PD170 or VX2100. They will outperform the DVX (or any current HDV camera) considerably in low light (a big plus for dimly lit receptions), with otherwise comparable overall picture quality to the DVX. B&H has a couple open box (demo) PD170s and an open box (demo) VX2100 currently available, which could save you a few bucks.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Procyk View Post
Both the FX1 & XH-A1 will do well in low light? That's the main concern, other than overall image quality.
The FX1 is pretty close to the DVX100 in low light if you use gain of ~6-12db, and the XH-A1 can also be used effectively with some experimentation. Neither is quite as sensitive as some of the best low-light SD cameras, but you just have to learn to respect their limits and light accordingly.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:05 AM   #9
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My personal opinion of the XH-A1 is that if you are outputting to sd it is as good as my old xm2 in lowlight, which is pretty good.
The problem is of course noise, which is a lot more apparent in hd. When the final output is sd the noise seems to dissapear as the quality just isnt there to show it up. Pushing the brightness as much as possible without clipping the whites in post makes this camera every bit as good in lowlight as any of the SD cameras (possibly with the exception of the PD170 which only shoots 4:3).
But other advantages to shooting with a HD camera are really apparent. Most notably exposure on sunny days.
As you can tell I've made the leap and don't regret it for one second.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the help.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 11:21 AM   #11
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It's not so much HD you should be worrying about Mike, it's the aspect ratio. How many couples that can afford your wedding filming services come home from their honeymoon to watch 4:3 TV?

I'd say that a native 16:9 camera is what you need most, and of course all HD cameras are this aspect ratio by default. Of course you'll be down converting for some considerable time, but that's to be expected.

tom.
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